GEORGE FLOYD’S KILLER WILL GO FREE!

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

Why Officer Chauvin would not be convicted for the killing of George Floyd?

Today, exactly 26 years ago on June 12, 1994, a certain Black America Orenthal James Simpson aka OJ Simpson knifed to death his ex-wife, the All American blonde Nicole Brown and her boyfriend, a White restaurant waiter 10 years her junior, Ron Goldman. In the criminal trial that followed OJ was not only discharged but acquitted. That is not however not the end of the story because on February 4, 1997 the accused was in a separate trial found to be responsible for the murders in a civil case that awarded against him “compensatory and punitive damages” of $33.5 million that OJ is still paying in instalments to date. I shall endeavor to return to OJ in my conclusion lest I forget Larry Fisher’s award winning photograph taken on October 3, 1995 – the exact moment on the day Mr Simpson was acquitted live on TV taken at the Augustana College, a high brow liberal arts university campus on 115 acres of hilly, wooded banks of the mighty Mississippi River at Rock Island, Illinois.

This iconic photograph still captures the embarrassing extent of the systematic racial divide still prevalent in that great nation even as the fallout of George Floyd’s murder is still unfolding. Officer Derek Chauvin acted within operational guidelines when he knelt on George Floyd’s neck as the Minneapolis Police Department’s manual on Use of Force specifically under numbers 5-300 and 5-311 allows the use of knee neck restraint among others when a suspect “appears drug affected” It was therefore not premeditated murder. Those that approved that standard procedure manual should be the suspects. Let me at this stage reiterate my position; I am not holding brief for Officer Chauvin nor condoning his actions. I am merely engaging in an analysis of the “What ifs” of the case called Red Team which is simply preparing for the worst ahead of time. This practice originated in computer access control whereby for instance, a bank’s top management will engage “ethical” hackers to attempt scaling the bank’s cyber security firewalls without the knowledge of that same bank’s IT department.

Chess players do it all the time to anticipate the moves of any opponent. Anyway, according to the autopsy report on Mr Floyd released by his family showed he died of “asphyxiation” Beyond that however they did admit he was Covid-19 positive.

Meanwhile, another report done by the Minneapolis Medical Examiner stated George’s death was due to “…arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease, fentanyl intoxication, and recent use of methamphetamine and cannabis” – please remember “appears drug affected” police department policy! Another issue is George Floyd’s violent past is his rap sheet. Some highlights include but not restricted to;

• George Floyd was the ringleader of a violent home invasion

• He plead guilty to entering a woman’s home, pointing a gun at her stomach and searching the home for drugs and money, according to court records

• Floyd was sentenced to 10 months in state jail for possession of cocaine in a December 2005 arrest

• He had previously been sentenced to eight months for the same offense, stemming from an October 2002 arrest

• Floyd was arrested in 2002 for criminal trespassing and served 30 days in jail

• He had another stint for a theft in August 1998

All these would be factored in by the defense lawyers of Officer Chauvin to demonize Mr Floyd. Interestingly, Officer Derek Chauvin and the late George Floyd both previously worked as bouncers at a Minneapolis night club.

In 1991, Rodney King endured brutal beating by 4 policemen with batons that left him with permanent brain damage and other serious heath challenges. The entire episode was captured on camera but not enough to convict any of the White policemen because he was “under the influence of drugs” and had to be subdued. By 1999, another set of 4 White cops in New York pumped 41 bullets into Amadou Diallo. He was also suspected to be under the influence of and carrying a gun. The autopsy report showed no drugs nor alcohol but the Street Crime Unit insisted he looked like a “serial rapist” Diallo had nothing more than his wallet on him and the 4 policemen were discharged and acquitted. You guessed right Messrs King and Diallo were African Americans. Following the acquittal of the cops that beat up King protests followed. 63 people died, 2383 injured and over 12,000 arrested. Over $1 billion in damage was incurred. So when 2 years later in the same city of Los Angeles the OJ Simpson came up the White establishment had to think outside the box despite his glaring guilt which started by ensuring the prosecutors were incompetent. The rest as they say is now history.

In conclusion, the American system has certain peculiarities that sustain institutional racism but bends over when it is expedient. In OJ’s criminal trial that lasted 9 months, 488 pieces of evidence were submitted by the prosecution which included hair, blood, fiber and shoe print analysis. On each OJ’s Dream Team lawyers raised objections on technical grounds thereby creating reasonable doubt on his involvement. He was therefore discharged and acquitted but in the civil trial that followed OJ was found complicit with exactly the same evidence! Another Rodney King round of protests was averted. It is only in America a presidential candidate will win by popular votes in millions yet lose by electoral votes numbering hundreds. For me the fundamental issue is not Officer’s guilt.

It is the all pervasive Apartheid like system that keeps Native (Red Indian), Hispanic and Asian Americans down which Black dignity has refused to be subservient to. Trust me Officer Chauvin would walk free but before then the White establishment would have made some major concessions that would not warrant any further protests. The City of New York offered $3 million to the family of Diallo while Rodney King raked in $3.8 million from the City of Los Angeles. The million dollar question is how much the family of George Floyd would settle for? Racism will never end in America. It would however remain increasingly monetized. Everything there has a price tag!

When the looting starts; the shooting starts.

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

“When the looting starts; the shooting starts”
This recent statement by US president Donald Trump were the exact words used in 1967 by the Miami police chief Walter Headley Jr. during the height of civil rights riots there.

Headley who had led that Florida city’s police department from 1948 until his death in 1968 declared to the Black people in Miami; “This is war” But as Carl von Clausewitz famously put it; “War is the continuation of politics by other means” If so what political message is Trump sending in an election year by repeating Bradley’s exact words 53 years later? The US leader is simply reminding White Supremacists, America’s largest voting block of his continued allegiance which begs the question of – is Trump racist or just being politically opportunistic?

Whatever the answer the angry African Americans have played into the hands of his political self aggrandizement at their very own expense. Their anger has unfortunately become an albatross instead of a strategic weapon.
A famous quote attributed to Albert Einstein; “Insanity is always doing the same thing but expecting different results” Each time there is a case of White police brutality against any Black person the American Negro community reacts exactly the same way – rioting, looting and arson. The recent fallout in Minneapolis is no different.
However in 1954; “Bernard Garrett wanted to get into real estate but encounters racism that prevents him from being a successful real estate investor.

After a chance encounter with wealthy club owner Joe Morris, he convinces Joe to be his co-investor. Together they convince Matt Steiner, a white man, to pose as the front of the company in meetings to facilitate the sales. Eventually, they become extremely successful in Los Angeles real estate, with the two teaching Matt the basics of real estate investing. The three secure a number of properties in L.A. and effectively integrate a number of previously segregated neighborhoods by selling and renting to Black families.

After this success, he sets his sights on the local bank in his Texas hometown to give loans to the Black residents. Racist bank practices had excluded Black people from receiving loans for small businesses and homeownership. Joe protests the idea at first but eventually relents and the three move to Texas.

Matt buys the bank, fronting for Bernard and Joe, but the local townspeople are extremely suspicious of this move. A bank executive tracks the records of the loans and discovers that they’re giving loans to black people, follows Matt and discovers that his partners are black, then threatens them with exposure which would cause “a run on the bank.” Matt persuades Joe and Bernard to purchase a second bank and put him in charge of it despite his inexperience. The racist bank executive calls in a federal investigator who checks the records of Matt’s bank and discovers numerous infractions attributable to Matt’s carelessness.

Matt, Bernard and Joe get arrested for violating federal banking laws. Facing a 50-year prison term, Matt takes a plea deal, falsely testifying that he was duped by Bernard and Joe. The next day, Bernard testifies passionately about black people being given the same opportunity for upward mobility as whites. He and Joe are convicted and serve time in prison; upon release, they go with Bernard’s wife Eunice to live in the Bahamas.”

This remarkable true story was captured in an excellent movie that was recently released during the Covid-19 pandemic. I have just downloaded and finished watching it. The moral in it is that by thinking outside the box any challenge can be surmounted. Barnet Garret and Joe Morris did not emotionally react to the racism confronting them back then in America, neither did they get angry nor bitter nor become exasperated by defeatism like the rioters recently in Minneapolis. The acted creatively by recruiting White persons to be the face of their company. They taught Matt Steiner golf, power dressing, restaurant table manners and business language and analysis to be their face in a White world.

That a duo of Black business men could skillfully pull off such a covert business strategy in an overtly racist America back in the heady days of the late 1950s and early 1960s was monumental. What Garret and Morris have also shown us is that mutual interest is stronger than any sentiment be it racial or indeed ethnic or religious in our context here in Nigeria and beyond.

The idea is to identify each man’s thumbscrew and turn it. It made no difference to Mr Steiner, a White that Messrs Garret and Morris were Black as long as the US dollar remained Green. The three of them embarked on consensus building for their overall benefit. Everything in life approached from a similar perspective is no different!
Reminding America’s biggest voting block that so to speak “We are all together” Trump has with “When the looting starts; the shooting starts” pulled another fast one at the expense of Black Americans (who are so regular and predictable in their usual response mechanism of rioting, looting and arson) Black people in America and indeed the rest of us elsewhere must learn to always effectively operate outside the box of conventional thinking. The genius in the approach of Garret and Morris was simply they succeeded by hiring white men to be the faces of their enterprise, appearing to run their operations while, in fact, Garrett and Morris were the owners and actual operators of the properties and banks.

They beat the enemy by simply changing the terrain of battle to their advantage exactly how Hannibal, an African inflicted the most devastating military defeat on the Roman army at the Battle of Cannae using just 26,000 men. In 1588, Queen Elizabeth will use 8 warships to crush the Spanish Armada that had 128. Similarly in January 1879, Shaka the Zulu defeated British guns and cannons using strategic envelopment with just spears, bows and arrows.

The effective use of strategic envelopment is all in t Greene he mind!
“People expect your behavior to conform to known patterns and convention. Your task as a strategist is to upset their expectations. Surprise them with chaos and unpredictability” – Robert Greene

Ruby Bridges: Racism is a grown up disease.

By Alex Kovow on facebook

I cant believe this and am so embarrassed that this history is absent from 20 years of education I received in Ghana right up to tertiary level. I have learnt about Winston Churchill, Mungo Park, Marco Polo, Sir Francis Drake and Christopher Columbus and how great they were. No one ever taught me about the guts of this little black kid and what she had to endure…
And apparently she is still alive today.
Read on please
In 1960, a 6 year old girl, Ruby Bridges became the world symbol of the courage to learn amidst untold intimidation and hate. The US Supreme court had just ordered that all schools be desegregated in the US to allow black children and white ones study together. The American South, the heart of racial segregation could hear none of it. New Orleans, where Ruby’s parents had settled from Mississipi decided on a plan to keep off the black youngsters and scuttle the court order. They decided to have very difficult entry examinations that black students couldn’t pass to frustrate their efforts to study with white students and the exam was only given to black students. Despite the painfully difficult exams, six black children passed, including Ruby.

The examinations body decided Ruby Bridges be admitted to the William Frantz Elementary school to begin her nursery studies. The community, teachers of the school and pupils would hear none of it. When Ruby reported for her first day in nursery school, there were violent riots and people threw objects at her. The following day all parents withdrew their children from the school. All the teachers also withdrew from the school saying they couldn’t teach a black kid. Except one brave teacher Barbara Henry.

Realizing that the US State of New Orleans wanted to disobey a court order requiring them to admit black children, President Dwight Eisenhower ordered that Ruby must attend school and sent Federal Marshalls to escort Ruby daily to school. Little did he know, the US soldiers would escort the young six year old girl for a record one year.

As she went to school daily, escorted by US Soldiers, Large crowds of adults and their children gathered by the road side who abused her, threw objects at her. One woman who cooked at the school threatened to poison her. The Marshalls decided she must now eat at her own home. A woman in the crowd daily showed her the image of a black doll in a wooden coffin as they spat on her. Locals shops refused to sell anything to her parents. They were turned away from every shop they went. Then the girl started having stress and would wake her mother in the middle of the night seeking comfort. The hate was too much to bear.

For one year, US soldiers escorted the brave Ruby to William Frantz school where there were only two people, Teacher Barbara and one student Ruby. They sat side by side or facing each other. There was nobody else. President Eisenhower handed over power and the predicament of Ruby Bridges to President John Kennedy. After one year, with the parents and protesting teachers realizing Ruby and Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy not flinching an inch, decided to return their children to school. Then the racist teachers returned. After a full one year. Ruby Bridges had stoically fought racism as a six year old.

As one of the soldiers who daily escorted her for one year Charles Burks would later say, “She never cried or whimpered, she just marched along like a little soldier.” Churks said guarding Ruby was the highlight of his career, the most important thing he ever did.

Ruby is now the chair of Ruby Bridges Foundation, which she formed in 1999 to promote “the values of tolerance, respect, and appreciation of all differences.”

She was recently reunited with Barbara, the teacher who refused to go with the crowd and teach one pupil for one year and give her a future. Barbara still lives in New Orleans with her husband and children. In her memorable words ‘Racism is a grown up disease and we should stop using our kids to spread it”

She lived to see a black man become president of the United States and was imvited to the White House where President Obama showed her a drawing of herself being escorted to school in 1960 engraved in the most powerful office on earth, immortalized for posterity.

SINGLED OUT

mark_resilience
Life singles out those it favours as well as those it punishes. Life is selective in no particular order, it only recognizes the willingness to exist and allows the refusal to survive.

When people choose to set aside what is humane, even when it is perceived as justified, their act of vengeance collides reason and common sense.

Those singled out and left to the lash of stone-casters exposing their ignorance and malice, live on with the experience. They most likely will associate it with not only the persons responsible but the custom or culture that allows them to be quite so brutal.

The singled out individual doesn’t only remember the horrible tune played by the bad musician but quite ironically yet logical, continue to associates it with the instrument used. The aggrieved ends up blaming the drummer’s piece for the bad tune.

Found out amidst the threshing stones,
Sort out of the cupboard of bones.
Where the situation was doctored
Fell out that one not to be mastered.

Revenge consumes like any fire
And depends on sentimental air.
An action sought to set any aside
Is vengeful if reason and sense coincide.

When anybody is singled out
The stone-casters dance about,
Exposing ignorance and malice;
Ironically with the drummer’s piece.

nameless
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/521184

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TT6S2N